LACONIA — A sexual assault charge against a Romanian man was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor when he was arraigned Monday in Laconia Circuit Court.
Miklos Szekely, 23, is now slated to stand trial on that charge in the Laconia court on November 9 at 1 p.m.
Laconia Police Department prosecutor James Sawyer aid that Szekely was originally arrested on a charge of aggravated felonious sexual assault of an 18-year-old female acquaintance during the evening hours of September 28 at his residence at 12 Maple Street in the Weirs. The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor sexual assault complaint of forced fondling when Szekely was arraigned by video Monday.
Sawyer, who said the defendant was booked to leave the country on a flight Monday night, sought to have Judge James Carroll order him to turn over his passport and set cash bail at $1,000.
But Public Defender Jesse Friedman sought to have the $6,000 cash bail reduced to personal recognizance bail so that the defendant could fly home to enroll in a master's degree program in agriculture. Friedman maintained that Szekely was not a flight risk and was an honor student who has stayed with the same family for the last three summers and had worked at a cottage colony and restaurant in the area.
Judge Carroll set cash bail of $6,000 but did not require the defendant to turn over his passport. He also ordered that the defendant have no contact with the alleged victim and that he stay away from the restaurant where she is employed.
An affidavit filed with the court says that Szekely used physical force during the incident after the victim had said that she would not consent and that he had placed his hand on her vagina and her breast and had prevented her from leaving the room when she attempted to do so.
Szekely, who was arranging for bail late Monday afternoon, was scheduled to fly to Romania later in the day. His name was no longer listed Tuesday on the Belknap County House of Corrections website as a detainee.
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